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Old 06-10-2010, 06:58 PM   #1
EnderTheX OP
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Location: DFW Area, TX
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In search of exciting mountain roads in the OK and AR National Forests!

Hey Guys! I just got back from riding some cool roads in the national forests and mountains of OK and AR! This is my first trip for the year and I am already getting excited to go out again! My F800GS is definitely turning out to be exactly the bike I wanted it to be.

I’ve got a bunch of pictures here and a few maps. I tracked myself through my new SPOT page and my Garmin 276C GPS. I’ll tell you the Garmin is really awesome. This is by far my favorite and most powerful GPS to date. Not only did it record my entire route very closely but it’s helped navigate on the fly, get out of sticky situations and plan future trips.

Since I’ve got the tracks and the SPOT I can tell accurately where each picture was taken. Please send me a PM if you would like a copy of the tracks or more info on any of the pictures!!!


Lets start off with a map of the route, these are my actual tracks for the whole trip.



This is a close-up of the day two riding in the Ozark National Forest.




For this trip I was supposed to go with my buddy Chris (child is his name on this site) who has a KTM 640A but he had family obligations at the last minute. I decided I would go ahead myself since I planned to be completely self-sufficient anyways. While we were planning the trip we practiced up at an off-road park near the Red River on the border of TX and OK. This was definitely helpful to get my confidence up on the bike and get us both in the mood for some tricky trails.

To see a backwards helmet cam video from Chris that shows me riding the F800GS in some tight trails at the off-road park check out this thread:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=583220


Let me introduce you to my ride! This beautiful beast is set to go and ready to haul up to the mountains!


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Old 06-10-2010, 07:07 PM   #2
briangorrell
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Great pics...


I am trying to decide between the R1200GS/ADV, or F800GS... Have you ridden the 1200 as well? What is your main reason for getting the F800GS?

Thanks - looks like fun!

Brian
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:37 PM   #3
EnderTheX OP
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I am very familiar with these types of roads… Gravel, flat, strait, super fast and looong. These are the Texas back-roads, the endless grid of dirt you can find off the highways and in your backyard. Unfortunately many of the interesting roads have been closed or are on private property. I am constantly searching for new roads close to DFW and I’ve probably ridden most of them already.




Here is my GPS, well worth the effort and money to set this baby up. This picture was made to remind me about this road… It dead-ends at my pointed into a completely overgrown wilderness (I guess the lonely people who live on this road only travel in one direction) but it doesn’t seem to be fenced off. So if you have some time and bug spray this might be interesting.




Always a pleasure to find roads like this, less used and not maintained by the county or state. In Texas at least there usually are fences on both sides, where I am heading I




The roads can be quite sublime though, especially when they are just perfect! I know my friend Chris is adverse to traveling long distances cross-country but this is what he is missing!




So I stop at this gas station as I enter into Oklahoma, my gas gauge indicates 20 miles to empty and I knew I shouldn’t tempt fate below this point.

I could have sworn the F800GS is rated for 4.2 gallons of useable fuel!? Either something is going on here or I was truly running on fumes as I pulled up.




I head out into OK and come across a cool bridge.




I try my hand at a couple at speed shots. This is much harder than it looks!!!



Props to the peeps who can perfect these shots!




Getting into some deeper side roads, never know what is around each corner! I think a lot of these have been newly graded to prepare for summer.




Finally! The beginning of the really interesting roads! This is the famous Talemina Scenic Drive (State Highway 88).




From the Google Earth image you can see I stay on this road for a little bit but then take off on an offshoot where there is interesting dirt to be found!

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Old 06-10-2010, 07:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briangorrell
Great pics...


I am trying to decide between the R1200GS/ADV, or F800GS... Have you ridden the 1200 as well? What is your main reason for getting the F800GS?

Thanks - looks like fun!

Brian
Hi Brian! I too had faced the dilemma of choosing between these great bikes. Several factors weighted in at the time but I chose to explore the more dirt oriented options. I'm not a big guy and the 1200s are huge! Since I do a lot of solo riding I have had to pick up my bike by myself many times. Also, the F800GS has more potential to clear obstacles. Mine is fitted with protective gear as well as suspension upgrades!


Oh yeah, and serviceability in the field was a big one for me too. I carry tons of spare parts for emergencies (it comes into play on this trip). The spokes wheels (21 inch) and chain are big differences from the big 1200s and are features I desire.

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Old 06-10-2010, 07:45 PM   #5
briangorrell
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I understand - love these pics - happy riding!!
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Old 06-10-2010, 07:59 PM   #6
EnderTheX OP
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Up top on the Talemina Scenic Drive! There were tons of motorcyclists and of course the F800GS got lots of attention but I had little time to chat since I had to put some miles under my belt!

Note: You can get a good look at my luggage setup. I’ve got the Giantloop Great Basin bag and the Wolfman waterproof duffel. I am also using the Wolfman Expedition Lite tank bag. I couldn’t be happier with this setup. In a previous trip the soft luggage saved my leg from certain injury in a fall in deep sand. All of these are waterproof as I have proven on almost all of my long distance trips!!




I saw more bikers than cagers on this road. Good for them to be out an about on such a nice day!




One more picture then I’m outta here!!! This is an awesome road though…

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Old 06-10-2010, 08:20 PM   #7
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Now we are getting somewhere! I bet 99% of the people on this road never notice this side road. I had it in the back of my mind the whole week, the first mountain dirt for the trip.






Descending the mountain…




First (and very easy) water crossing of the day! I had heard rumors of slimy river crossings but this one was fine. Beautiful area, beautiful day, what more could you ask for?





I almost ran over these fellas! Who ever heard of fish road hazards!?





Here is where I get to the scenic-side-of-mountain roads I love. The mountains in this region extend for miles and miles as long ridges. The roads ride along the side of them and you usually have a steep slope on both sides. The shoulder on the right side of the track is just as steep as the wall on the left! And trust me, there are places you are almost vertical!





In case you are wondering where I am in the above picture.




Beautiful graded roads in the valley. On this road I stop to check out a party trying to un-stuck a 4 wheeler that is buried past the top of the tires. I offer medical supplies and tools if they need them, they don’t and I go on. (sorry no pics)

I always offer help to people I meet because the karma may help me in my solo travels. I don’t always take things easy and if the shit hits the fan you may need a helping hand.




These roads are fast!!!! They may be no challenge to most dual sport riders but I find them quite exciting especially when I pick the speed up. I find myself riding in 3rd and 4th gear most of the time making good time.



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Old 06-10-2010, 08:29 PM   #8
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Some moto-porn in the forest for yall.






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Old 06-10-2010, 08:35 PM   #9
briangorrell
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Absolutely awesome pics - keep em' coming!!
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Old 06-10-2010, 08:35 PM   #10
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Back on the roads, a view from the cockpit. Actually I usually sit relatively high but I can see my GPS from the sitting and standing position.



Stopping at a nice viewpoint on the trail.



More pictures of the bike, I just can’t get tired of looking at it!






Testing out the macro feature on my camera and trying to be “artistic”. The flowers were everywhere and in full swing, definitely the tail end of the rainy season.



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Old 06-10-2010, 08:45 PM   #11
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Alright, back to the road. You know how I was saying I stop to pick up good karma where I can? This is where I use it all up.

I am riding like a bat out of hell on smooth roads with small hills on them. I am probably doing around 35mph when I crest over this hill (yes I know, stupid to ride faster than you can see) and I come to some deep ruts. I yell “oh shit!” in my helmet and hang on. My front tire gets caught in a rut and my rear is locked up and I almost go completely sideways… By some luck I manage to stay on the bike and come to a stop.


Shaking, I grab my camera, point it backwards and get a shot of the carnage. The dust hasn’t cleared from the top of the hill, you can see the surface (and the rut) that caught me by surprise on the left side of the photo in the sunlight.




After that I take it a little easier but soon come to some more cool roads and forget about the scare.




A quick bridge picture is always fun! This particular road had a bit of 4x4 traffic that was throwing up dust but I put up my own dust storm keeping the pace up.

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Old 06-10-2010, 08:49 PM   #12
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After the bridge picture, it began to get dark and I rode on to find a place for the night. During that time my main headlamp went out! The bike was fine but displayed a “LAMP” warning on the computer. I rode with the bright bulb on until I stopped.

That's it for day 1 of the ride!!! I'm gonna post the rest of the days as soon as I can.

Here are some stats for day 1:

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Old 06-10-2010, 09:30 PM   #13
wswartzwel
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I always enjoy your ride reports! Looking forward to more great pics of your ride!!!


Bill
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:24 AM   #14
waltwhitman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnderTheX
Hey Guys! I just got back from riding some cool roads in the national forests and mountains of OK and AR! This is my first trip for the year and I am already getting excited to go out again! My F800GS is definitely turning out to be exactly the bike I wanted it to be.

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Old 06-11-2010, 06:54 PM   #15
EnderTheX OP
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Thanks guys! It means a lot to me because I am always thinking about taking you along on my trips and how to document it!


That night I dug out my spare headlight bulb and began the transplant. Luckily the headlight bulb replacement on the F800GS is so simple and intuitive I didn’t even need any instructions or tools!!




Just remember… Don’t touch the bulb no matter how much you want to!




Woot!




The next morning I inspect my tire situation. These tires are basically brand new! I’ve only done about 500 mile total on them… The Metzler Karoos might have awesome traction and stability but the durability is definitely lacking. Good thing I have a set of Heidenau K60s in the garage waiting for my return!



Oh yeah, I do ride like a bat out of hell though.



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